Capital One to charge new fee for checking accounts

Correction appended

AU students who have a Capital One checking account should probably check their mail.

Capital One recently mailed a letter to clients announcing all checking accounts will automatically be switched to the “Rewards Checking” program. This program will charge customers $8.95 a month, unless they keep a minimum daily checking balance of $300 or the account receives a single monthly direct deposit of $250 or more, according to Capital One’s website.

The accounts will switch to “Rewards Checking” on June 5 unless students contact Capital One.

Capital One already offers free Campus Checking accounts, and they will not be affected by the change. Students who do not have a Campus Checking account but want one must visit the Capital One branch at AU, according to Capital One spokesperson Amanda Landers.

AU is one of four universities with this free checking account.

The service fee will go into effect two months after the June 5 deadline, according to the website.

“Rewards Checking” accounts will receive “automatic rewards,” which include travel miles, cash rewards and merchandise with certain types of debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals, according to Capital One’s website.

Clients can also choose to convert their accounts to “Premier Rewards Checking,” which requires:

• an average monthly checking balance of $1,500, or

• a combined average balance of $3,000 between checking and savings Capital One accounts, or

• a single monthly deposit of $1,000 or more.

For the “Premier Rewards Checking,” the monthly service fee is $14.95 if the criteria is not met each month.

Capital One customers can opt to convert their checking account to “High Yield Free Checking,” which has no monthly service fee. However, clients will be required to maintain a minimum combined average monthly balance of $5,000 or have a good-standing home loan through the bank.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that there were no exemptions for students. However, Capital One offers a free Campus Checking account for AU students.

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